TPT conservation volunteers (Penistone - Dunford Bridge)

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The most recent news isn't necessarily at the top of the page, and  new information is added to earlier items where relevant. Clicking on some of the photos will bring up a larger version.

Last updated: November 2017

Children at St John's Primary School say the Trans Pennine Trail is one of Penistone's best non-designated assets!

In a competition highlighting the area's best 'non-designated' features, organised by Penistone Town Council, St John's Primary School in Penistone was the first school to invite the judges in.

The children had all worked very hard on their entries, but the winning project - chosen by Cllr Andrew Millner - looked at the way the Trans Pennine Trail forms a connective route through the town, linking in important elements of the community.

Part of Penistone Town Council's Neighbourhood Development initiative; the competition is designed to engage young people in their community and offer them a say in how it develops. The children's ideas will feed into the draft plan, which goes out to all residents for consultation later this year. The NDP covers Millhouse Green, Thurlstone, Cubley, Springvale, and Hoyland Swain; as well as Penistone itself.

A number of schools have yet to submit their entries, with the top entry from each school going forward to produce a final winner. Congratulations to the victorious team at St John's and come on the rest of you - get your entries in! We're sure they'll all have noticed what a wonderful non-designated asset the TPT is :)


!!News Flash!! Gnomes spotted on Trans Pennine Trail

Two gnomes have been seen on a quiet part of the TPT between Penistone and Dunford Bridge, where several tiny doors have also appeared recently. It was also rumoured that a tree is growing upside down in the same area. Trail users have been advised to be very wary if travelling beyond Penistone...


Tour de Yorkshire Stage 3 Sunday 30th April 2017

Leading up to the TdeY we will be working hard to make sure the TPT Penistone - Dunford Bridge is in tip top condition. If you'd like to help, dig out your elbow grease, pack a bag of good humour, and turn up to one of our workdays!

Little People Making Their Homes on the Trail

When we said we'd like to increase the biodiversity on this section of the TPT we didn't exactly have the faerie population in mind. Please take care as you go along the Trail. You may not see any of them as this species is reputedly very shy, but you can spot their houses in among the trees. You'd think they'd set up home in the Magic wood but they've chosen quite another area.


 Thanks are due to volunteer Mike Senior :)

Have you seen a rabbit lurking on the Trail? And a Carrot!

A lovely chain saw carving of a large rabbit appeared just before Christmas, opposite the wild flower bank midway between Bullhouse Bridge and Hazlehead Bridge. Carved by Stephen Tarr, the rabbit was soon followed by a carrot!

There are now eight carvings by Stephen Tarr between Penistone and Dunford Bridge - have you spotted them all?

Fox ! 

Stephen Tarr has produced another brilliant chain saw carving for the Penistone - Dunford Bridge TPT. You can find the fox - named Willow - on the access at Bullhouse Bridge.

If you'd like to commission Steve to create a sculpture for your garden/porch/anniversary, you can get in touch with him at


Leaflet Update 2016  Sept 2016

The new leaflet is now available. Pick up your copy at Penistone Town Hall and other local outlets, or during a workday. And of course you can download it from the Information page here.

Bullhouse B./Hazlehead B. - Utility Works: 13th - 27th September 2016

UK Coal sub contractors carried out maintenance work on pumping station pipework between Bullhouse Bridge and Hazlehead Bridge  for two weeks from Tuesday 13th September. Hazards were fenced off, and contractors shut down machinery to help Trail users.

Dunford Bridge car park vehicle + people count - 17th September 2016

National Grid carried out a count of people and vehicles at Dunford Bridge car park on September 17th, as part of its ongoing traffic and transport assessment work. This involved a survey contractor from Tracsis counting cars using the car park every 30 minutes between 7.00 am and 7.00 pm and - with the help of a post-mounted camera - capturing 'movements of users going down the Trail'.

National Grid Visual Impact Provision (VIP) in the Peak District  (updated November 2017)

Peak District VIP project website:

You have probably have heard by now that National Grid are exploring the possibility of removing the electricity pylons between Wogden Foot and Dunford Bridge, and burying the cables underground - and specifically, beneath the TPT.

National Grid will be submitting a planning application in spring 2018, with work commencing early 2019. 

This area was one of twelve short listed, and one of the four areas chosen. Now the process of discussion, debate, negotiation is taking place, along with investigations and surveys to discover whether the ground is in fact suitable. If the scheme goes ahead, an alternative route for the Trail between Wogden Foot and Dunford Bridge will be developed and the current path closed for up to three years from 2018 (tbc).

National Grid's outline of activities which took place during March 2017  is below:

'AECOM, a contractor acting on National Grid’s behalf has been undertaking a range of ecology surveys in the area since 2015, and these will continue throughout the next few months. In addition we will have specialist contractors carrying out surveys in March. The first of these will take place from Monday 6 March and will involve LiDAR (Light Detecting and Ranging) surveys using aerial drones. These are small remote-controlled devices which will be visible in the sky as they plot the landscape, enabling us to create a detailed map of the area.

We will also be carrying out river modelling work in mid-March for approximately two weeks. This will enhance our understanding of the local aquatic landscape and involves fully trained surveyors taking measurements at cross sections along the River Don and its tributaries.

In addition to the environmental surveys, we will also be conducting a series of site walks with engineering contractors, environmental specialists and stakeholders. Notice will be provided to the relevant landowners and other individuals who may be affected prior to these visits taking place.

Together with our contractors, we will ensure any disruption to local residents and Trans Pennine Trail users is kept to a m
inimum. We have been granted consent by the relevant landowners where required, and National Grid will continue to work with organisations including Natural England, the Peak District National Park Authority, Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council and the Trans Pennine Trail National Office to ensure all the necessary permissions are obtained.'

Further information is available on the project website:

If you experience any problems, please do get in touch with National Grid (email or Freephone 0330 134 0051) or with ourselves on 077 043 33445 or via the contact page here or Facebook page TPTconservationvolunteers.

Toadstools!   May 2016

Another chain saw carving for the Trail, this time it's not too far from the Magic Wood...


There are now five tree sculptures to look out for along our section of the Trail - Wisewood, Swooper (see below), Barney (see below), Lady Birch of Hazlehead (below), and the Toadstools. And then six!

                                                                                'Lady Birch of Hazlehead'

Many thanks to local chain saw artist, Stephen Tarr of S & J Logging. If you'd like to commission Steve to create a sculpture in your garden, you can get in touch with him at

Meet Barney the Owl!      July 2015        


A chain saw carving of an owl emerged from a tree trunk, midway between Bullhouse Bridge and Hazlehead in July 2015. A companion for Swooper, the owl was carved by Steven Tarr, and named 'Barney' by Alison Nockels, in a competition run by ourselves and the TPT office. A plaque will eventually be fixed to the carving, bearing the owl's name. 

Sustrans Volunteer Group 2015     July 2015                                                                              

We were delighted to hear that we'd been chosen as Sustrans Volunteer Group of the Year 2015.

This was particularly exciting amidst celebrations of 20 years of the National Cycle Network. Thanks to everybody who contributed to our efforts to make the Trail (P-D.B) a lovelier place .

Work on the Trail between Bullhouse Bridge and Dunford Bridge.   July 20th - 24th 2015

Killingleys - who laid the surfacing between Bullhouse Bridge and Dunford Bridge, last year - carried out remedial work this week....

TPT Penistone - Dunford Bridge nominated for an award  June 2015

The Penistone - Dunford Bridge section of the TPT was one of four Yorks & Humbs routes nominated in the 'Best Route Under 30 miles' category, as part of events organised by Sustrans to celebrate 20 years of the National Cycle Network. The other routes were: Aire Valley Towpath; Harrogate to Ripley Castle;  and Dewsbury Connect2. The category was won by the Aire Valley Towpath, which will now go forward to the next stage of the competition. Aire Valley Towpath is also one of Sustrans 'Ten Best Routes Under 30 Miles' nationwide.

An Eagle Has Landed!  June 2015

Keep your eyes open for an eagle, as you go along the Trail. Chain saw carved by local artist, Stephen Tarr, from a willow stump, the eagle is beautifully sited, overlooking the valley towards Royd Moor, and has become a popular location for photographs. 

A naming ceremony was held in July 2015, following a competition to find a name for the eagle (organised by ourselves and TPT National) which was won by eight year old Oliver Daynes with his brilliant suggestion: 'Swooper'!

Link Route - Cotebank Bridge to Langsett

This route - which will eventually provide a surfaced way between TPT Penistone - Dunford Bridge and Langsett - is open to walkers, but not yet (November 2017) to cyclists or horse riders.
Significant progress has been made, and we are much further towards the full opening of this much-anticipated route. No date has been set as yet however, but we will keep you informed. The public is asked to respect the closure signs which are in place, while final preparations are made. If you'd like further information please contact Sarah Ford  on 01226 772696.

Tree Felling


Winter 2014/5 saw plenty of snow on our section of the Trans Pennine Trail, plus several days of strong winds.

This kind of weather really takes its toll on the trees, particularly the older, multi-stemmed, Goat Willows.  Many of these are growing in nutrient-poor, shallow, soil which - although great for wild flowers - is not so good for tall trees. Standing water also poses problems for some trees because the roots have insufficient oxygen - you may have seen the fallen trees along the left hand (south) side of the Trail between Leapings Lane and Shore Hall Lane.

Trees which are already stressed - by wind, water, or weather - succumb easily to disease, and further sudden stress, and this is why, when we have a spell of heavy snow or sharp wind, you'll see trees and branches down along the Trail. 


Working with BMBC Countryside Rangers and S and J Logging we identified a number of unhealthy trees and  worked hard through the early months of 2015 to remove them.

Much of the wood was already dead, and was left alongside the Trail to provide useful habitats for a variety of flora and fauna - fungi, mosses, and lichens; invertebrates such as beetles and ants; and small mammals like shrews, moles, and hedgehogs. 

The resulting Trail was much improved for flora, fauna, and human beings. Careful pruning gave extra space and light to Beech, Oak, Hawthorn saplings struggling to grow; the additional cleared spaces provide sunny spots necessary for lizards and other reptiles; and the extra light encourages wild flowers to flourish. In the longer term, birds benefit from the greater density of cover and the wider variety of healthy trees and shrubs.

If you'd like to help, you're very welcome - you'll find details on the Workdays page.

Watch found March 2015 still looking for its owner in February 2017

A watch was found on the Trail and, in January 2016, is still looking for its rightful owner. It's a good quality watch, in working order, and was found between Bullhouse Bridge and Hazlehead Bridge. Please contact us if you think it might be yours. 

Community Science Project - Moors for the Future

TPT Penistone - Dunford Bridge was chosen as one of ten locations for a Community Science Project run by Moors for the Future in July 2014

The project, which assessed the long-term impact of climate change, used surveys of three different kinds of bumblebees (a key indicator species) over a 2km route measured between Hazlehead Bridge Station and a little beyond Cote bank Bridge. In support of the project, Moors for the Future held a one day course on the Trail to train volunteers and members of the public in identifying and surveying bees.

The 2km transect used in the survey crosses a number of different habitats, and will be be used for surveying a variety of species.

The Slow Tour of Yorkshire
  TPT Penistone – Dunford Bridge was one of the routes selected by 
Sustrans in August 2014 for their 'Slow Tour of Yorkshire'- a guide to '21 of  the best cycle routes across Yorkshire on the National Cycle Network' - click the link to find out  more!  

The New Surface - July 2014

The new surface between Bullhouse Bridge and Dunford Bridge is very popular - particularly with families and mobility scooter riders - and lots of people discovered  that there was life beyond Bullhouse, now it didn't involve a mud bath. 

Flexi Pave/Tarmac
The Trail is surfaced with tarmac and top-dressed with a fine grit finish,  between Hazlehead Bridge Station and Dunford Bridge, rather than Flexi Pave, as certain vehicles need to have access along this section - to look after the nature reserve at Wogden Foot, for example. For this reason, the tarmac strip between Hazlehead and Dunford Bridge is also slightly wider, at 3m, rather than 2m.

Any enquiries should be directed to Sarah Ford,  at, telephone 01226 772696

Tour de France and the Trans Pennine Trail in Penistone           

The Tour de France was a great success, helped along by lovely weather. One of our volunteers created some wonderful bunting featuring our own logo, which you might have spotted along the Trail. We also managed to secure TdF Legacy Funding through BMBC, to create three large maps for the centre of Penistone, showing the town centre and how to reach the Trail; whether you arrive by train, bus, or car.


In the months leading up to the event, TPTcv volunteers worked hard to improve the Trail and make sure it was looking its best: removing many of the self-seeded trees along the Penistone stretch to let in more light and reveal views across the valley; clearing around benches, cleaning picnic tables and information panels; removing litter; washing bridges, and painting signs.

BMBC undertook a number of tasks at our request - removing some of the larger trees at St John’s access; repairing the steps and the surface; painting the barriers and bins there and at Eastfield Avenue; and installing a blue finger post at Penistone Station– Barnsley Museum also commissioned and installed four community artworks to celebrate the event. Penistone Line Partnership also undertook to put blue signs up on the platform at Penistone Station - you can't miss the Trail now! Hundreds of spectators poured along the Trail on the day but you would never have known – either the clear-up operation was very efficient or everybody was very tidy.

Funding Application Approved!                                                      

Our funding application for a project to install two picnic tables and an information panel at Hazlehead Bridge Station, and a third picnic table at Bullhouse Bridge, was approved in October 2013. 

Work had to be completed by the end of November 2013, so it was all hands on deck, with workdays to prepare both sites throughout October, and for part of November.

Part of the project provided a third picnic table at Bullhouse Bridge, beneath trees, to offer some shade from the sun - or the rain!

The new picnic site at Hazlehead was sited on the south side of the old station, leaving the seating area on the north side intact; and creating paths through the wild flower area to allow the public to access the picnic area with minimal disturbance to the wild flowers.

The information panel, designed - like the Railway Disaster panel at Bullhouse Bridge, and the Wild Flower panel at Shore Hall Lane - by John Smith of Creative Smith, depicts the life and times of the station.

The funding was made available through the Rural Development Programme for England, which is jointly funded by Defra and the European Union, and the project was match-funded by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council. 


In September 2013 it was announced that part of the recent successful Peak District bid for £5m, from the government's £94m cycling initiative, would be used to complete the surfacing of our section of the Trail, beginning in March 2014 and completed in time for the Tour de France in July 2014. 

The work coped with a number of drainage problems, and the new surface meant that more vulnerable users could now use the full extent of the six-mile route.

The time-scale was quite short - only 18 months - and in the end it was necessary to close that part of the Trail for two months, but the final result was a much-improved route, and a fantastic asset for the area.

July Flowers 2013 

Dark mullein was in flower beside the Trail throughout July in 2013. This is a spectacular plant, 100 cm (40 inches) tall, with bright purple hairy stamens filling the centre of each pale yellow flower. The nectar is very important for bees and other insects; seed-eating animals feast on the numerous seeds which are produced, and small invertebrates hibernate in the old flowering stems.


Grand Opening of the Picnic Site, Official Opening of the New Surface, Unveiling of the Railway Disaster Information Panel. Tuesday 16th July 2013.

If you came along to this event, on Tuesday 16th July, you will know that it went off without a hitch, under sunshine and blue skies, helped along by 25 children from Millhouse Primary School, who cycled out from Penistone along with their teachers and governors for the first official picnic. Helped by the children, who cut the ribbons, Cllr Paul Hand-Davis opened the new Flexi Pave surface, and Trans Pennine Trail Officer, Mandy Loach, opened the Picnic Site. Headteacher of Millhouse Primary School, Mr Gary Mangham,  unveiled the Railway Board, 129 years after the incident took place, and then refreshments were served. Sustrans Volunteer Ranger Co-ordinator, Dave Stevens, gave out prizes for the quiz which had entertained the children en route  to the picnic site, before they all donned their cycle helmets, to finish the day by cycling to Dunford Bridge.  A lovely afternoon, and a fitting way to celebrate these additions to the Trail.

You can read a press report about the event here.

June Flowers...2013

Ragged robin, Bladder campion, Orchids, and Meadow crane's-bill, and look forward to Lady's bedstraw in July...


Wild Flower Evening (2)        M


Following our recent Wild Flower Evening, a second event, later in the year, will look at how best to manage habitats in order to encourage and maintain wild flowers on the Trail.

Don't miss our walk!

As part of the East Peak Outdoors Festival, TPTcv  presented an evening walk: 'Trail of Magic', on Thursday 20th June 2013. Unfortunately it coincided almost exactly with a torrential downpour...

May Flowers...2013

The Trail is looking very colourful with spring flowers - cow parsley, lady's Smock, cowslip,  stitchwort....and many more. A lovely time of year to be out and about on the Trail; why not take some photos, and add them to our Facebook page


April 2013 - TPTcv Joins Facebook!                   

You can now find us on Facebook...add your photos, requests,  comments, and suggestions; let us know if you've seen any interesting birds, flowers, or butterflies; shout if you're fed up about litter, or you're just glad to be out on our - rather special - section of the Trans Pennine Trail in the spring sunshine. 

April Flowers in 2013

Look out for flowers as you go along the Trail; coltsfoot and snowdrops are both in flower at the moment:


And don't miss this Mahonia aquifolium, or this lovely bank of celandines:


Resurfacing Extended - May 2013

The Flexi Pave, installed between Penistone and Shore Hall Lane (see below) in January 2013, was extended to Bullhouse Bridge in May 2013, providing families with an easy ride out from Penistone all the way to the picnic site at Bullhouse Bridge! 

                                                                                                   March 2013

Parking for Horse-Boxes in Penistone

Unofficial parking for one or two small trailers or horse-boxes is available near Julie's Cafe/It's For Hire in Penistone. Parking is to the right of the drive on the concrete areas, and is entirely at the owner's risk. The drive must be kept clear at all times, and the area left clean and tidy.

Bullhouse Chapel - open every Monday between March 1st and September 30th!

Have you ever visited Bullhouse Chapel? Do you know where it is or what it is?

Bullhouse Chapel is an English Heritage property. It is the oldest independent non-conformist chapel with continuous worship in the county! Built in the seventeenth century by the Rich family who lived at nearby Bullhouse Hall, its pulpit is believed to be original, and it has a remarkable sounding-board which allowed the speaker to be heard from the back of the chapel. It is a simple  building, redolent with history, its stone blackened by smoke from the trains which ran along the line nearby; it was registered for worship in 1692 and has been in continuous use ever since.

You can visit the chapel on Mondays 9am - 3pm between March 1st  and September 30th .
The chapel is just off the Trail: travelling west along the Trail, look for an exit on your right after you have crossed over Bullhouse Bridge - click here for a map. You will find  Bullhouse Chapel just 75 yards to the left, at the end of Bullhouse Lane.
More information here - Bullhouse Chapel

Project 2013


We were delighted that our funding bid to East Peak Innovation Partnership (EPIP) was approved in November 2012. The project included the installation of picnic tables at Bullhouse Bridge, two information panels, and two seats. One of the information panels is sited at Bullhouse Bridge, and describes the railway accident which occurred there in 1884, the other panel is near Shore Hall Lane, and illustrates some of the flowers to be found in late summer on this section of the Trail (see below). The funding was made available through the Rural Development Programme for England, which is jointly funded by Defra and the European Union, and the project was match-funded by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council. The new facilities have proved to be very popular.

Some of the workdays in January involved working with BMBC rangers on this project. 

November 2012

Several trees removed to prepare for the Picnic Site:


February 2013

The information panels have been installed at Bullhouse Bridge and Shore Hall Lane, and seating and picnic tables will follow as soon as the weather allows.

March 2013

The concrete bases in place at Bullhouse Bridge, ready for the seats and picnic tables.


Installing the picnic tables - 

May 2013

Nearly there...



An all-weather surface was added to the Trail between Penistone Showground and Shore Hall Lane in January 2013.

The 2 metre wide all-weather surface is made from recycled car tyres and stone chips mixed with a resin; 'Flexi Pave' is 'porous and smooth, it gives slightly for runners, doesn't get slippery when wet, and is great for the environment.'

One side of the Trail remained in place, for horse riders and those who prefer a rougher, more 'natural' surface. The project was match funded by the East Peak Innovation Partnership.

Further details from Sarah Ford (Senior PROW Officer) on 01226 772696

In a surprise move, water skis were  issued to people wanting to use the Trail (at that time unsurfaced) between Shore Hall Lane and Bullhouse Bridge... just joking!

Wild Flowers

There was a wealth of wild flowers on the Trail in September 2013 -  Common Toadflax, Knapweed, Melilot, Crane's-bill, Hop Trefoil, Mallow,  Golden Rod - to mention just a few!  (Click on each one to see a photo.) Please get in touch if you would like us to send you a link to the whole album. Because the Trail is on the site of an old railway it has lots of lime from the ballast and is untouched by fertilisers, and therefore wild flowers are abundant. By gradually allowing more light on to the Trail we hope to enable more dormant seeds to germinate in the future.

Bins between Penistone and Dunford Bridge...Litter, and Dog Dirt.

There are no bins, of any sort, on the Trail between Penistone Showground and Dunford Bridge. Barnsley Council is aware of this, and of the problems this may present for Trail users, and particularly for dog walkers.

BMBC regrets that "they cannot afford to provide any more bins"  - although the initial cost is relatively small "significant costs for emptying make it impossible to add any more." The Council is actually operating at maximum capacity in dealing with the 300 bins which are emptied each week in the area which includes the Trail.

Barnsley's Neighbourhood Pride tells us (March 2013, and still the case in 2015) new thinking suggests that where no bins are provided, less litter is dropped, and litter is taken home - which might seem to be borne out by the quantity of litter on the Trail in Penistone, where there are several bins. The problem of dog owners collecting mess and then dropping the bag somewhere, is apparently as common as it is illogical, and bears no relation to the availability of dog bins. 

Survey results
     April 2012
We conducted a survey along the whole length of the trail between Penistone and Dunford Bridge on April 15th 2012, setting out from Penistone. We looked at all aspects of the trail - litter, access, bins, seating, vegetation, and sign boards - and asked walkers, horse-riders, cyclists, and joggers, for their thoughts about the Trail, and what they thought needed doing. Not surprisingly, several people complained about the surface.

We discovered that:
  • Although a number of people complained of Litter it was only a serious issue in one or two particular places on this section of the Trans Pennine Trail -
- in Penistone itself
- on the access to the Trail at Bullhouse Bridge  (This area has since been cleared up.) 
  • Access to the Trail is good.
  • Although there are a number of bins on the Trail in Penistone and Dunford Bridge - for both dog waste and general litter - there is no provision for either along the entire six miles in between. Quite a lot of people complained about both litter and dog dirt. Like litter, dog dirt is worse in some areas than others - Penistone, Leapings Lane, Shore Hall Lane, and approaching Dunford bridge were all bad areas.
  • Seating is well-used but in general people described it as 'adequate', rather than either comfortable or attractive.
  • Encroaching or overhanging vegetation is probably the single aspect of this section of the Trail which needs most attention. The very worst spots are -
- half way between Leapings Lane and Shore Hall Lane
- much of the stretch between Shore Hall Lane and Bullhouse Bridge, but particularly the second half
- between Bullhouse Bridge (after the Minewater Project board) and Hazlehead Bridge
  • The signboards were clean and, except for the Minewater Project Board (between Bullhouse and Hazelhead), free from graffiti. (This has since been cleaned.)
                         Do let us know what you think about these - or any other - aspect of the Trail.

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